• Connect


  • Traditional Fiction: “The Mirror Thief” by Martin Seay
  • Non-Traditional Fiction: “A Bitter Pill to Swallow” by Tiffany Gholar
  • Traditional Non-Fiction: “The Defender” by Ethan Michaeli
  • Non-Traditional Non-Fiction: “Hugh Hefner’s First Funeral and Other True Tales of Love and Death in Chicago” by Pat Colander
  • Spirit Award: Donald G. Evans, founder and executive director of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame


  • Traditional Fiction: “Old Heart” by Peter Ferry
  • Non-Traditional Fiction: “The Wet Nose of Danger” by James Finn Garner
  • Traditional Non-Fiction: “Empire of Deception” by Dean Jobb
  • Non-Traditional Non-Fiction: “a different kind of same” by Kelley Clink
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Karen Thomson, founder and director of Literature for All of Us


  • Traditional Fiction: “The Hundred-Year House” by Rebecca Makkai
  • Non-Traditional Fiction: “Carpe Diem, Illinois (A Leo Townsend novel)” by Kristin A. Oakley
  • Traditional Non-Fiction: “Meaty” by Samantha Irby
  • Non-Traditional Non-Fiction: “Famous Ski Hills in Wisconsin” by Scott Jacobs


  • Traditional Fiction: “Good Kings Bad Kings” by Susan Nussbaum
  • Non-Traditional Fiction: “30 Days to Empathy” by The 31 and Jay C. Rehak (Editor)
  • Traditional Non-Fiction: “We Hope You Like This Song” by Bree Housley
  • Non-Traditional Non-Fiction: “Any Road Will Take You There” by David W. Berner


  • Traditional Fiction: “The Temple of Air” by Patricia Ann McNair
  • Non-Traditional Fiction: “Coming Out Can Be Murder” by Renee James
  • Traditional Non-Fiction: “Whiskey Breakfast: My Swedish Family, My American Life” by Richard C. Lindberg
  • Non-Traditional Non-Fiction: “Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back” by Kelly Farley


  • Traditional Fiction: “Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry” by Christine Sneed
  • Non-Traditional Fiction: “Honk Honk, My Darling: A Rex Koko Private Clown Mystery” by James Finn Garner
  • Traditional Non-Fiction: “Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on our Way to Love and Motherhood” by Pamela Ferdinand, Carey Goldberg and Beth Jones
  • Non-Traditional Non-Fiction: “Giants in the Park: A Guide to Portrait Statues in Chicago’s Lincoln Park” by Krista August